The Federal Farm Bill is generally believed to address agriculture production, forestry, and food security issues, but the American Heart Association (AHA) sought ways to make it address health issues, especially heart health. AHA turned to former agriculture committee staff and public health professionals at N. Chapman Associates, Inc. We first secured language in the Research Title of the 2007 Farm Bill that mandated the U.S. Department of Agriculture to collect food consumption data.
Although the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey is mandated, the USDA food intake portion was not required and its extinction had been threatened several times. The new mandate ensures health professionals and policy makers can link blood cholesterols and blood pressures to specific dietary intakes of Americans. Secondly, N. Chapman Associates, Inc. secured language to provide premiums to farmers who grow oilseeds that produce oils not requiring hydrogenation for food uses. This provided incentives for farmers to grow these oilseeds with new nutrient compositions that met public health measures to ban or reduce trans fats in food service and food products.